Swimming, watersports off Goa beaches closed ahead of monsoon

Panaji, June 8 : With monsoon showers lashing across the state since Friday morning, the state's beaches, which are popular with tourists, have been shut down for swimming and water sports till the end of September due to rough seas.

An advisory issued on Friday by Drishti Marine, a private life guard service which mans Goa's beaches, has asked the visitors to not wade into the water above the knees even during dry spells due to powerful currents.

Drishti's Ravi Shankar said that with moderate and heavy rains lashing various parts of Goa, they have issued a monsoon advisory instructing visitors to the beach not to venture into the sea during the monsoon months extending from June till the end of September.

"We have put up red flags at all the beaches which means that the area is not meant for swimming.

Even wading into the waters is not advisable. Our team of lifeguards present along the coast are monitoring the weather conditions. The team is trained to carry out rescues even in rough weather," he said in a statement.

Around 600 lifeguards of Drishti Marine monitor 22 beaches across south Goa and 16 beaches across north Goa from sunrise to sunset.

"Goa's coastline is quite complex and requires mapping every morning.

If weather conditions are favourable, we may open up the zones on some of the beaches for visitors who want to wade into the water.

"These zones can be identified by the red and yellow flags and will be decided on a daily basis depending on the day's weather.

However, even in such conditions, swimming is not advisable due to the presence of under-water currents and rip tides," Shankar said.

Goa is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country and attracts more than six million tourists every year, which includes half a million foreign tourists.



Source: IANS